Betting On The Canadian Football League

Ontario sports betting and the Canadian Football League’s future looks bright. With the passage of bill C-218, single event or single-game sports wagering is now possible throughout Canada. Ontario is in the process of legalizing an online commercial market featuring sports betting and casino gaming. This is expected to go live in April 2022.

You can bet that many Ontarians will want to put their money down on CFL matches. Canadian football is one of the nation’s most popular sports. Just a few months after the industry launches, expect heavy betting activity with CFL. This page will break down everything you need to know about betting on CFL games and players as the online sports betting industry develops.

Canadian Football League Odds At The Best Sportsbooks

Odds for in football league are primarily calculated the same way that they are for other sports and in other countries. Player data, win ratios, and other attributes are taken into account by professional line makers or line-making algorithms.

Then, Canada’s sports wagering platforms (and eventual mobile apps) will take that data and use it to come up with enjoyable, potentially profitable wagers for both sides of a bet. This way, both underdog and favorite bettors can expect to win a good amount of cash if they are correct.

Odds are calculated and displayed in easy-to-understand formats. For instance, odds for moneyline wagers on Canadian football league games could be displayed in the following two ways:

  • Team A (+120) vs. Team B (-150)
  • Team A (2.2) vs. Team B (1.66)

The first example is displayed in the American odds format. An easy way to understand these odds are through $100 bets or adjusting for winnings. Placing a $100 wager on Team A (+120) would win $120 plus the initial bet. Placing a $150 wager on Team B (-150) would win $100 plus the initial bet.

The second example is displayed in the Decimal odds format. This is common across Canadian sportsbooks and other international offerings. It provides the same odds as the first example, just in a different format.

Again, payout is easily understood in $100 bets. Placing $100 on Team A (2.2) would win $120 plus the initial bet. Placing $100 on Team B (1.66) would win $66.67 plus the initial bet.

Team A is the underdog team and is rated least likely to win. Team B is the favorite team to win and is most likely to be victorious according to statistics. However, odds can change their appearance based on the wagers they are paired with. You can find more information about wager types on Canadian football league games below.

Where Can You Bet On The Canadian Football League?

For quite a while, betting on a single football game (or any other single event in sports) was not allowed throughout Canada’s official sports betting organizations and platforms. That changed last year, and many Canadian provinces are already jumping at the opportunity to offer CFL bets like never before.

Throughout the country, sports wagering is handled at the provincial level. That means each province has its own regulatory organization that determines where sports bettors can wager and what betting platforms will be available. In Ontario, there will be additional competitors alongside its own provincial government offering, PROLINE+, beginning in April.

Ontario’s gaming industry is regulated by the AGCO, or Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Online Sportsbooks

Ontario will legalize third-party or commercial sports betting operators in April. When this occurs, you’ll be able to place bets on Canadian Football League games and other sporting events through major private companies. This potentially could include DraftKings and FanDuel, but will definitely start with organizations such as PointsBet and theScore Bet.

However, more choice is always a good thing as it drives competition. Some operators offer special welcome bonuses for new users to take advantage of. Check this page regularly for more information about upcoming online betting platforms where you can place wagers for Canadian Football League matches!

What Kinds Of Bets Can Be Placed On The Canadian Football League?

Once retail and online sportsbooks launch in greater numbers, you’ll be able to place a wide variety of bets on CFL games and players.

Moneyline

Moneyline bets are the standard wager type that some betting platforms already offer! These are simple wagers where you just bet on which team will win or lose a match.

Spread

Spread bets are common and popular bets for football and other games. They involve “betting the spread,” which means you either bet that the underdog team wins the game outright or loses by a certain number of points OR that the favorite team wins the game by a certain number of points. 

Totals

Totals bets are popular since they don’t involve betting on a winner outright. Instead, the oddsmakers give out a total points value for a given match and you have to decide whether the combined points from both teams will be above or below that predicted total.

Parlay

Most Canadians are already familiar with parlay bets as those wagers were the only types available for quite some time. They involve multiple games or events strung together into a single large wager. You have to get all the bets or “legs” correct in order to win your payout. It’ll be interesting to see how popular these bets are now that single-event wagering has recently become available.

What Is A Canadian Football League Futures Bet?

CFL futures bets are already available in many Canadian provinces and within commercial sportsbooks in the United States. Futures bets are wagers on future football league games and events, like the Grey Cup winner (equivalent to the NFL’s Super Bowl) and who wins the East or West Division.

With these bets, the earlier you place your wager, the bigger your potential payout since the odds will be more against you.  CFL championship bets will be a favorite futures wager type for many bettors. Some sportsbooks will offer odds for divisional winners and Grey Cup appearance.

In Canada, all of the lottery sportsbooks offer futures bets for the Grey Cup champion. Of those offering single-event wagering, PlayNow is the only one that offers additional markets for finalists in the Grey Cup and a winner for the East and West Division.

For the United States, futures for the 2022 Grey Cup winner is available at multiple sportsbooks. None offer futures bets for division winners at this time. Here are futures bets offered by PointsBet and PROLINE+ in Ontario as we prepare for the upcoming season.

2022 Grey Cup WinnerPROLINE+ OddsPointsBet Odds
Winnipeg3.03.5
Hamilton5.05.5
Saskatchewan5.05.5
Toronto5.06.0
Calgary6.56.5
Montreal9.09.0
BC11.013.0
Edmonton15.016.0
Ottawa15.021.0

How To Place Prop Bets On Canadian Football League

Prop or proposition bets may also be available at sportsbooks in the future. With proposition bets, you bet on specific events or actions within a game, not the game outcome overall. For example, you may bet that a Canadian football player makes a touchdown or makes a unique pass.

At this time, sportsbooks in Canada and the United States do not offer prop bets for teams or players.

How To Bet On The Canadian Football League

There are a couple of different ways to bet on the CFL right now. People in some provinces can visit a casino or racing center that has a sports wagering outlet. There, bettors can place single-event wagers on CFL games depending on what types of bets they have available. Right now, futures for the 2022 Grey Cup are only available.

Alternatively, residents can check out their local provincial platforms. All provinces offer single-event wagers in some capacity through their government-run betting platforms. This could be fully online, or a hybrid format where a betting slip is filled out online and scanned at a retailer.

The Ontario government is currently looking at regulations and rules for third-party or commercial sports betting operators. In the near future, you’ll be able to download a mobile betting platform from operators like DraftKings or BetMGM and place bets on CFL games.

Once your sportsbook of choice launches, you’ll need to follow this process to place a bet on CFL games:

  • Visit the desktop or mobile website of the betting platform, or download the sportsbook of your choice. Install the sportsbook on your iOS or Android mobile device if downloading.
  • Register for the sportsbook according to its rules and regulations. Fill out personal information for verification and accept terms and conditions.
  • Fund your account using online deposit methods, like credit or debit card transactions.
  • Then navigate to the betting line area of the desktop or mobile sportsbook and put your money down on a CFL wager.

Since Canadian provinces will likely emulate the US model, the entire process should be rather quick and you’ll be able to enjoy sports betting from the comfort of your home!

Canadian Football League Partnerships

PointsBet is an official sponsor for the Ottawa Redblacks. The Ontario-based team is the first franchise to have a partnership with a gaming operator. Expect to see branding for PointsBet Canada across the Redblacks’ team uniforms and home stadium.

The league has a multi-year partnership with BetRegal, an online sportsbook and casino company. BetRegal is now the official sports gaming partner of the CFL.

Canadian Football League Sports Betting FAQs

How popular is single-event betting on the Canadian Football League?

It’s tough to say as Canadians haven’t had a lot of this type of betting opportunity in the past. However, we’d be willing to bet that single CFL bets will become some of the most popular wagering lines in Canada once they are more readily available.

Does the Canadian Football League have any partnerships with a sportsbook?

Yes, with BetRegal. This partnership was announced in August 2021.

Where can you bet on championship games for the Canadian Football League?

You can place futures bets for the Grey Cup winner on many of Canada’s current lottery-run sportsbooks.

Is DraftKings legal in Canada?

Only to offer daily fantasy sports at this time. However, DraftKings Sportsbook is expected to launch by mid-April 2022.

Is FanDuel available in Canada?

Not yet, except for offering daily fantasy sports. But FanDuel is expected to launch by mid-April 2022.

Does DraftKings have odds for Canadian Football League games?

They currently have odds for games and futures available in the United States. Should it launch in Canada, it definitely will, along with a plethora of different wager types.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of Toronto Sports Media. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.